Nearly done and the penultimate volume of Powell’s panoply was quite a good read. Considering the parallels with Proust, it was inevitable that at some point, we end up in Venice. Here, for a literary conference which, thankfully, Powell does not dwell on, the characters assemble and, for the most part, spend their time getting on each other’s nerves.
In order to keep things moving along plot-wise, Powell contrives that Pamela and Widmerpool are also there and it is their continuing farce of a marriage which forms the basis for most of the conflict and the mess it makes of various relationships that are connected with it. There are a a few deaths in this one, at least one of which was a bit of a surprise. And Widmerpool’s rise seems, perhaps, to reach something of an apex. I’ve a feeling it may be downhill from hereon out for him.
Powell continues to write in the same vein with astute observations of the human nature of everyone except the actual narrator himself who remains as elusive as ever. I’m wondering by now whether this is a serious character flaw either on the part of the character himself or the actual writer. The jury’s out on that one as I move into the final volume at last.
|RATING||I’ll rate the entire novel when I’ve finished the next, final volume.|